The electric car is alive and well today. With Tesla’s new launch of the more affordable Model 3, pre-orders are expected to reach half a million:

Tesla Motors Inc.’s Elon Musk said worldwide pre-orders for the newly announced Model 3 electric car hit 276,000 during the weekend.

The chief executive posted the number Sunday on his Twitter feed. He said that if the trend continues, orders will hit 500,000.

Tesla’s new Model 3 starts at $35,000 and has a range of 215 miles per charge. Customers must put down $1,000 to reserve one of the cars, which go on sale in late 2017. Customers are free to change their minds, however: The money down is refundable.

The Palo Alto, Calif., company started taking orders early Thursday before Musk unveiled the new car.